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Whiplash is no joke: Compensation for whiplash injury after an accident

Whiplash injuries have been the target of jokes that imply that when someone complains of whiplash symptoms, they are exaggerating to get attention or money. Do not let this unfortunate misperception minimize your whiplash after a motor vehicle accident. Whiplash needs to be taken seriously, medically assessed and treated, and comprehensively considered when assessing the financial and personal impact of a whiplash injury.

Of course, the injury is so-named because of the appearance of the violent back-and-forth movement of the neck from the force generated by a sudden impact, usually in a rear-end car crash, that resembles the end of a whip when cracked. The phenomena often results in neck strain or sprain and, like any injury, can be short lived and minor, but also can cause ongoing medical complication and symptoms, according to Mayo Clinic.

Mayo explains that whiplash may cause damage to spinal bones, discs, muscles, nerves, ligaments and more, and that harm may be worse in victims who are seniors, have had prior whiplash or who already have back or neck pain.

Symptoms, which can be delayed or intermittent, may include:

  • Swelling
  • Muscle spasms and muscle tension
  • Neck pain, which can be chronic and worsen with movement
  • Arm, back or shoulder pain
  • Arm numbness or tingling
  • Fatigue and sleep disturbance
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of normal range of motion in the neck
  • Headache
  • Stiffness
  • Blurry vision
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Depression or irritability

Patients may have trouble performing activities of daily living or work tasks because of these symptoms.

Before settling with an insurance company or an at-fault driver for injuries and damages from a collision, an experienced lawyer should assess what compensation is appropriate for the particular whiplash injury. Will future medical care, prescriptions and medical equipment, physical or occupational therapy be necessary? What do the victim's doctors think about the whiplash symptoms developing or worsening? Do the physicians think that arthritis or scar tissue could develop? Is future neck injury more likely because of the changes whiplash caused? Is chiropractic care recommended? Has the whiplash caused the client to miss work and is future wage loss likely? Has the injury caused severe pain and suffering? All these factors and others should be compensated for in money damages.

We take whiplash seriously and so should your doctors, involved insurers and anyone whose fault contributed to the accident that resulted in your injuries.

The personal injury attorneys at Dubin Law Group with offices in Seattle and Everett represent the victims of motor vehicle accidents in seeking legal compensation throughout Pierce, Snohomish and King Counties in Washington state.